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Good Morning!

Topsail Island. (Photo by joanneleon. November, 2011)
"I, along with many other Breezy Point residents, lost our homes last night and I am grateful that my family and I are safe after this destructive storm. I hope you will join me in lending a hand to those who were less fortunate and keep everyone impacted by this storm in your thoughts and prayers."

-- U.S. Representative Bob Turner

Steely Dan - Fire in the Hole
Drop in
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to say hello.

News and Opinion

Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. Members of this coalition are from Occupy Wall Street,,, and many individual volunteers.

Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. Members of this coalition are from Occupy,, and and many individual volunteers.

Via Amazon:
Occupy Sandy NJ and Occupy Sandy NJ's Wedding Registry

Your donations make a difference! Critical supplies support NJ residents seeking shelter, food, warmth, and human kindness in Sandy's aftermath. For up-to-date information about how to help, visit or Items purchased will be sent to the Jersey City Sandy Recovery distribution center at Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne St, Jersey City, NJ, 07302. If you have Amazon Prime or are able to pay for expedited shipping, prompt delivery is GREATLY appreciated. Items may not show as purchased until they are shipped. Rest assured that they are in queue. Feedback welcome at @SandyRegistryNJ is Leah Barton hunkered down in Houston, TX, with strong support from Heather Balliet Lee in Jersey City. Hat tip to the original @SandyRegistry in NY. Check out for additional needs. **SATURDAY UPDATE from the terrific Barrow Mansion volunteers - We are able to deprioritize food now that other organizations are up and running. We still need COATS and BLANKETS and TOOLS FOR UPCOMING RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS.** 600 BOXES have been delivered to date - details at Please spread the word through your networks! THANK YOU for your incredible support!
NOTE: This couple has requested no gift wrap.

Do the Math

On November 7th, we’re hitting the road to jumpstart the next phase of the climate movement.
It’s simple math: we can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all — unless we rise up to stop them.

This November, Bill McKibben and are hitting the road to build the movement that will change the terrifying math of the climate crisis. Join us.

How about all of the forecloses/bank held vacant properties around this area and around the country?

U.S. Asks New York Landlords for Vacant Apartments to House Displaced Families

City, state and federal officials are trying to assemble a pool of vacant apartments in New York City that could supplement the city’s shelter system in housing hundreds if not thousands of families displaced by storm damage and power outages.
Officials have discussed a variety of ways to accelerate rebuilding, including using modular housing. But meetings in New York last week involving city and state officials focused on creating a clearinghouse that would match displaced families with vacant apartments.

At a meeting in Manhattan on Wednesday evening, Shaun Donovan, the federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, told real estate executives, “You really need to help out,” according to one executive who was present. The meeting, real estate executives said, was one element of a White House rebuilding program that President Obama is expected to announce on Thursday in Manhattan for New York, New Jersey and possibly Connecticut.

Return of more NJ Transit, PATH services gives train riders some space

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy washed away train tracks and left a vital rail substation inoperable, NJ Transit trains will be rolling again — in time for Monday morning’s rush — on the Morris and Essex Line from Dover to New York.

Combined with Gov. Chris Christie’s announcement today of restoration of PATH service between Newark Penn and Harrison stations to Manhattan, and the restoration of limited NJ Transit service on the Bergen, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines this morning, commuters have their most hopeful news since the hurricane.

Also, Amtrak has pumped out floodwater and restored service to one of its two rail tunnels under the Hudson River, increasing capacity for NJ Transit trains.

Commuters have been taken out of their routines, and the limited trains to the city have had them packed like sardines.

Beginning today, 33 trains will roll into New York Penn Station during the 6 to 10 a.m. rush — up from 13 during some days last week.  [...] Still, service is down from the usual 63 trains to New York Penn Station during the morning rush.

Homeless families return to Atlantic City shelter 2 weeks after Sandy

The home Angel and his mom are pining for is Covenant House’s crisis shelter in Atlantic City.

"We’ve been at Covenant House for five, going on six months now. We were just finding a little stability," said Arroyo-Ortiz, a former foster child. "It’s been hard for him. He doesn’t like rain, thunderstorms and lightning and this scared him a lot. He keeps asking, ‘when can we go back to the house?’"

Sunday, all 32 homeless adults and their children who live at Covenant House were back home. They’ll be limited to the second and third floors of the 13,000-square-foot Atlantic Avenue facility while construction crews work on the first floor, which was flooded with sand and ocean water.

Hurricane Sandy disrupted the lives of millions of New Jerseyans and rendered thousands of residents temporarily homeless. But the storm’s aftermath has also intensified New Jersey’s persistent affordable housing shortage.
Because of the damage caused by Sandy, Covenant House has not been able to accept new people into its shelter, Nelson said.

"Especially in the shore area, there was already a real lack of housing that was affordable" said Arnold Cohen, policy coordinator for the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. Communities like Long Branch have turned many rental properties into high-end condo developments.

The storm "put further stress on that small supply," he said.

During the off-season, shore motels often rent to low-income clientele, but Cohen predicted that this year, "they will be taken up by upper-income families" displaced by the storm.

When Good Intentions Aren't Enough: How to Improve Sandy Relief

It’s worse that you think in New York. Much, much worse.

On Saturday, when I got to the Rockaways, a peninsula community in Queens near JFK Airport, my stomach dropped. I had heard about the flooding, and seen the fires in Breezy Point on TV. But nothing prepared me for the immense loss of property that we saw up and down the peninsula. This was a common sight:

My two days on the ground in the area brought me several stark realizations about the nature of grassroots relief organizing, especially from the perspective of being a volunteer, and not my usual role as a coordinator or facilitator.
In the world of grassroots disaster relief, that’s the kind of organizing that happened in New Orleans, in Algiers and the Lower Ninth Ward, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with Common Ground Relief. When FEMA and the Red Cross are either slow to respond or don’t at all, these efforts mean life or death to the residents who live there. With Sandy, communities on the ground–churches, Sikh temples, even local libraries–in the hardest hit areas like the Rockaways have the necessary existing relationships in place to bring a certain amount of relief, but may not have had enough resources to distribute. Enter another grassroots movement, Occupy.

OccupySandy launched in the middle of the week, and by the weekend, it was overflowing with goods and people. Occupy’s non-structure that has been in place since September 2011 made it uniquely positioned to quickly get to work on collecting and sorting donations, cooking food, recruiting volunteers, and more. When I arrived at the St Jacobi Church location in Sunset Park on Saturday, I was overwhelmed and inspired. It was bustling with energy, and we were all doing something. It felt much better to be there, than at home staring at my hands. I wasn’t sure how things were being distributed, but we saw cars leaving regularly loaded with supplies, and the volunteer line to be sent out to a site stretched around the block

Behind Petraeus’s Resignation

Exclusive: The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair marks a stunning reversal for the longtime media darling. But some in President Obama’s inner circle are not displeased the neocon-friendly ex-general is gone, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The messy departure of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair removes the last high-ranking neoconservative holdover from George W. Bush’s administration and gives the reelected President Barack Obama more maneuvering room to negotiate a settlement over Iran’s nuclear program.

Petraeus’s resignation along with a public acknowledgement of an affair, reportedly with an admiring female biographer, raised eyebrows in Washington for reasons beyond the sudden and humiliating fall of the high-flying former four-star general. Normally, in such situations, a cover story is used to spare someone of Petraeus’s stature embarrassment.


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

Steely Dan - Dirty Work


Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?

Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.

Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  ~ Noam Chomsky

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, Kossacks helping each other, and Occupy Wall Street.

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